Hot off the heels of Final Fantasy XVI director Yoshi-P facing criticism for his upcoming game’s lack of ‘medieval European diversity’, No Game, No Life creator Yuu Kamiya has found himself in a similar situation – and like the esteemed Square Enix producer, he’s not backing down from his creatives decisions.
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A comedic light novel series, No Game, No Life follows the exploits of the NEET siblings Sora and Shiro, a pair of shut-ins who, under the shared gamer tag ‘Blank’, absolutely dominate every single video game they play.
One day, the two are challenged to an online game of chess by an individual calling himself a God. After being quickly toppled by the siblings, the God – otherwise known as Tet – isekai’s them into the magical world of Disboard, where every dispute no matter how large is settled by games.
His reason? To allow them to challenge him for the title of the ‘God of Games’.
Yet, despite the game taking place in a fully fictional country, a Western reader unsurprisingly took issue with the fact that Disboard did not exactly parallel real-world history.
On March 2nd, Kamiya took to Twitter to reveal that they had recently “received a scolding DM from a foreign reader who said ‘There were brown-skinned people in medeival and early modern Europe, why don’t they appear in your work?'”
Responding directly to this accusation, the Brazillian-Japanese creator declared, “First of all Disboard is not in Europe.”
“Were there furry ears or elves in medieval Europe?,” he added before noting “Also, there are usually brown-skinned characters.”
It should be noted that one of the sixteen different sentient races who have a seat at the table of Disboard politics are the dwarves, all of whom are noticably more tan than their peers.
However, as they did not appear in the series’ anime adaptation nor have they made their debut in its manga version, it seems that this fan had not fully engaged with Kamiya’s work before attempting to rake him over the coals.
Ultimately, the entire interaction left Kamiya wondering if they would have a better understanding of the fan’s mentality if, instead of leaving for Japan with his parents at the age of 7, he had lived out his life in the United States.
“I wonder if I wouldn’t understand it because I am now completely close to the Japanese,” said the creator.